Personal productivity assessment is the starting point for improving one’s work effectiveness and efficiency. Self-assessment is important in identifying one’s strengths as well as self-defeating habits that hinder an employee from reaching optimum productivity. A higher score on the test indicates greater efficiency in workload and time management. The writer’s score on the test is eight out of ten.
His techniques for organizing and planning workload typify good time management habits. Based on the results, the writer does not procrastinate. He handles minor tasks once he receives them to avoid delays. Setting priorities at professional and personal levels helps manage time and tasks effectively. Normally, he completes the difficult tasks first before the smaller ones that are less complex, but time consuming and energy sapping.
Disorganization and interruptions are also barriers to effective time management. The writer usually takes notes during meetings to keep track of his daily commitments. A running list that indicates the deadline for each project that needs to be done also prevents time wastage.
Working from an organized desk also improves the writer’s effectiveness. A clean office saves time when searching for items, which prevents unnecessary stress and burnout. He also delegates tasks whenever an opportunity to do so arises. Opportunities for improvement include maintaining a follow-up file to monitor developments and reducing time spent on the internet and phone calls.
Supervision is an important part of the management process. Supervision is a worker-centered role and thus, an image of a productive supervisor has a big effect on employee motivation and performance. A supervisor primarily focuses on the workers. A productive supervisor creates a motivated and skilled workforce to drive workplace productivity and team performance.
According to Certo (2010) fairness, task delegation, loyalty, positive attitude, good communication skills, and work commitment are the characteristics that epitomize a productive supervisor. A supervisor with these qualities is effective in implementing his/her goals, which is vital in administration.
Role delegation ensures that work is done on time. Being an employee-centered role, supervision requires one to identify opportunities for delegating tasks. Supervisors depend on subordinates to get work done, which means that one must be a team player to achieve managerial success. A productive supervisor not only inspires, but also influences others to support particular goals.
Allen (2001) characterizes an influential supervisor as one effective in creating a cohesive workplace environment that motivates staff leading to improved productivity. Without job motivation and skills, concentrating on work alone will not translate into better productivity. As a leader, a strong power base is vital in achieving managerial success.
Planning is an essential managerial function in any organization. It entails formulating short- and long-term goals and action plans. A supervisor plans “operating schedules, quality specifications, budgets, deadlines, and timetables” to achieve certain results (Loehr & Schwartz, 2003, p. 81).
Effective planning reduces risks due to unforeseen difficulties and ensures that employees know their roles and tasks in advance, which improves their efficiency and effectiveness. It requires proper execution of the action plans. Planning enhances the supervisor’s ability to organize and control activities within the team.
Thus, a supervisor needs to be productive in his or her work to set higher goals and plans for the people he/she supervises and implement policies formulated by the top management. A productive supervisor is a visionary leader who leads the department through anticipation and goal setting.
He or she motivates and inspires workers to be effective in their work, especially in times of organizational change. According to Gleeson (1998), a leader energizes and directs the workforce through regular communication, disciplining errant employees, and motivating staff. This requires good skills in interpersonal relationships to build cohesion among employees in the workplace.
It entails prioritizing tasks and being goal-oriented. Goal-orientation leads to better time management and personal organization and reduces bureaucracy within a department. Often, good organizational skills at the ‘supervision’ level trickle down to lower levels resulting in improved team productivity.
An effective supervisor also has an aptitude for relationship building. Supervisors, being leaders, model the attitudes and values within a team. A productive supervisor uses the ‘management by objectives’ strategy to spur the subordinates’ trust and confidence in him or her (Loehr & Schwartz, 2003).
The supervisor and the subordinates collaborate in setting performance targets, which increase the potential for goal accomplishment. Positive relationships inspire confidence resulting in managerial success. It requires a good listener to assign meaningful tasks to workers to increase job satisfaction. Positive reinforcements can also motivate team members to do well in their work.
Being understanding and empathic also creates a motivated workforce. A supervisor steers the department or organization towards set objectives. To achieve established milestones within set periods, a supervisor must exhibit the tenacity to direct others. The power to control others ensures that projects run according to schedule.
High team productivity requires a supervisor who is tenacious with regard to project execution and follow-up to ensure tasks are completed on time. Unfinished projects amount to time wastage, which affects productivity (Gleeson, 1998). Thus, an effective supervisor is keen on meeting certain targets, which translates into improved overall productivity.
Proper time management
Proper time management can help an employee improve productivity and avoid stress. One approach the writer will use to manage his time well is prioritization. This will involve setting individual and professional priorities that are realistic and achievable. By itemizing specific daily work/tasks, the writer will be able to keep track of his responsibilities.
This will allow him to address high-priority tasks first and low-priority ones later during free time (Gleeson, 1998). Low-priority tasks may include phone calls or text messages that are not urgent. The writer will also use technology to manage time. An electronic calendar showing daily events or commitments, such as meetings or appointments, will help the writer organize his time effectively.
Such a calendar indicates the daily tasks and the respective period required to accomplish them. It will remind the writer of upcoming events and help him schedule to attend. The lack of a calendar to keep track of future events increases the likelihood of not meeting deadlines or failing to attend important meetings. In this regard, a calendar of events will help the writer to deal with pressure by completing work on time.
Designing a weekly work plan is also useful in personal time management. Allen (2001) states that weekly planning eliminates the frustration and stress associated with daily planning. It is flexible, increases the likelihood of achieving the set goals, and saves one the trouble of planning for each day (Allen, 2001).
A customized weekly work plan prevents interruptions and procrastination as one is able to monitor his/her accomplishments. In planning for the week, the writer will first set aside time for activities such as commuting, tea break, and lunch. The remaining time will then be filled with scheduled activities such as meetings. Additional time will be set aside for checking emails and making calls.
Based on personal goals and priorities, the writer will assign various tasks different time slots. Difficult tasks will be assigned more hours than smaller ones. Since most time-wasters are personal, the writer will use multi-tasking methods to manage time well.
Allen, D. (2001). Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress Free Productivity. New York: Viking Publishers.
Certo, S. C. (2010). Supervision: Concepts and skill-building. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Gleeson, K. (1998). Personal Efficiency Program: How to get organized to do more work in less time. New York: Wiley & Sons.
Loehr, J. & Schwartz, T. (2003). The Power of Full Engagement: managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance and personal renewal. New York: Free Press.